Below are some common questions that people have about acupuncture and herbal medicine:

Acupuncture Q & A

What is Acupuncture? Acupuncture is a method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and to improve functioning. This is done by inserting fine filaments and applying heat or electrical stimulation at very precise acupuncture points.

Does Acupuncture Hurt?  Not Usually.  I use acupuncture filaments instead of the larger traditional needles.  15 of these filaments fit into the shaft of the smallest hypodermic needle!  Most patients don’t even feel them.

How many treatments will I need? The number of treatments needed differs from person to person. For acute problems, usually 2-6 visits are required, and for preventative health appointments most people come in 1-2 times a month for a “tune-up” to get them prepared for flu seasons.  For complex or long-standing conditions, one or two treatments a week for several months may be recommended.

What  Should I expect? The initial visit is 80 minutes long.  We will spend about 50 minutes on the intake and the last 30 minutes is treatment time.  In regular appointments the first 20 minutes are for the consult with you and the following 30 minutes are the treatment time.  Nutritional & Lifestyle Counseling is included if your condition is affected by these elements of your daily routine.

Are There Any Side Effects To The Treatments?  Usually not. As energy is redirected in the body, internal chemicals and hormones are stimulated and healing begins to take place. Occasionally the original symptoms worsen for a few days, or other general changes in appetite, sleep, bowel or urination patterns, or emotional state may be triggered. These should not cause concern, as they are simply indications that the acupuncture is starting to work. It is quite common with the first one or two treatments to have a sensation of deep relaxation or even mild disorientation immediately following the treatment. These pass within a short time, and never require anything more than a bit of rest to overcome.  Because your acupuncturist uses sterilized packaged single use disposable filaments, there is no risk of infection from the treatments.

ARE THERE ANY “DO’S AND DONT’S” FOR ME ON THE DAY OF A TREATMENT? Yes. To enhance the value of a treatment, the following guidelines are important:

  • Bathe before the treatment and do not wear perfumes or scents to treatment.
  • Do not eat an unusually large meal immediately before or after your treatment.   Do eat at least 3 hours before the treatment.
  • Do not over-exercise, engage in sexual activity, or consume alcoholic beverages within 6 hours before or after the treatment.
  • Plan your activities so that after the treatment you can get some rest, or at least not have to be working at top performance. This is especially important for the first few visits.
  • Continue to take any prescription medicines as directed by your regular doctor. Substance abuse (drugs and alcohol) especially in the week prior to treatment, will seriously interfere with the effectiveness of acupuncture treatments.
  • Remember to keep good mental or written notes of what your response is to the treatment. This is important for your doctor to know so that the follow-up treatments can be designed to best help you and your problem

Should I bring medical records to the treatment?  Yes.  There will be a full intake on your visit. Have all medications written down and ready for your practitioner as well.

Does Acupuncture Really Work? Yes. In the past 2,000 years, more people have been successfully treated with acupuncture than with all other health modalities combined. Today acupuncture is now being used more and more in America by patients and physicians. Acupuncture treatments can be given at the same time other techniques are being used, such as conventional Western medicine, osteopathic or chiropractic adjustments, and homeopathic or naturopathic prescriptions. It is important that your physician and acupuncturist know everything that you are doing, so they can help you get the most benefit from all your treatments.

Do I Have To Believe In Acupuncture for it to Work?  NO! Acupuncture is used successfully on cats, dogs, horses and other animals. These animal patients do not understand or believe in the process that helps them get better. A positive attitude toward wellness may reinforce the effects of the treatment received, just as a negative attitude may hinder the effects of acupuncture or any other treatment. A neutral attitude (“I don’t know if I really believe in this.”) will not block the treatment results.


Acupuncture is a system which can influence three areas of health care:

  • promotion of health and well-being,
  • prevention of illness,
  • treatment of various medical conditions.

While acupuncture is often associated with pain control, in the hands of a well-trained practitioner it has much broader applications. Acupuncture can be effective as the only treatment used, or as the support or adjunct to other medical treatment forms in many medical and surgical disorders.   The World Health Organization recognizes the use of acupuncture in the treatment of a wide range of medical problems, including:

  • Digestive disorders: gastritis and hyperacidity, spastic colon, constipation, diarrhea.
  • Respiratory disorders: sinusitis, sore throat, bronchitis, asthma, recurrent chest infections.
  • Neurological and muscular disorders: headaches, facial tics, neck pain, rib neuritis, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, various forms of tendinitis, low back pain, sciatica, osteoarthritis.
  • Urinary, menstrual, and reproductive problems.

Acupuncture is particularly useful in resolving physical problems related to tension and stress and emotional conditions.

Herbal Prescription Q&A

What Is In The Medicine?  Different parts of plants such as the leaves, roots, stems, flowers, and seeds are used as well as shells & bones (just like the calcium supplements you buy in your grocery store). The herbs are combined in formulas and given as pills, capsules, or powders.

Is The Prescription Made For My Condition? Your condition is unique and so is your herbal prescription.  Your common cold could be caused by one of eight different disease patterns, so your prescription is for you only and not your spouse if they have a cold!  Your prescription is for your unique pattern at the time of illness.

How Long Will I Be Taking The Rx?  This is dependent upon how quickly you respond to the Rx.  You will only be given enough for one week and then you will either have another appointment or have a phone consult to determine if you need to continue the Rx.  You will never be on a prescription indefinitely!  The most difficult & chronic cases are usually on an Rx for only 3 months or on an as needed basis. You can come into the office to pick up the Rx during regular business hours Monday-Friday.

Can I Take This With My Other Medications?  We thoroughly review your specific allergies and current western medications before you are prescribed a formula.

Will I Automatically Be Prescribed Herbs With My Acupuncture Appointment?  NO.  There is rarely  a case where I prescribe a patient an herbal Rx until I see how they respond to the acupuncture treatment alone.  Colds-Flus-Pain are the exception and a formula may be given on the first visit.  An Rx is usually prescribed after 2 acupuncture treatments if it is necessary.

How Much Do The Prescriptions Cost?  Usually between $12-$40.  Sometimes, in the case of a flu, only four to six doses are needed whereas other illnesses require a full 7-10 days of dosing.